A Conversation, art and otherwise

Welcome to the art blog of Mike Menius, Northern CA plein air painter. Please join the ongoing conversation about art, the studio projects, etc.

Monday, March 9, 2015

"Sources of Inspiration"

Artists are often asked, "Where do you find your ideas?  How do you decide what to paint/draw?"  

Years ago, I chose subjects which seemed to be grand and impressive.  The paintings were beautiful, and they sold well.  Gradually, things began to change.

The real change was living life, and finding it necessary to look more critically at what I was creating.  Does this subject move me, or do I simply think it is what appeals to certain individuals?  

The answer came over time: if I listen carefully to what speaks to me instinctively, everything changes.

The themes of my painting became simpler, more intimate.  

There was also a second change: a growing awareness of the necessity to raise the level of the work itself.

At this stage, I challenge myself to create at a much higher level of execution.  The process is fun; it is also intense and demanding.  It has also given me an increased appreciation of the amount of hard work, by the masters we all admire.  They are not only supremely talented; they also do the blood, sweat, and tears that go into art, which is both personal and long lasting.

"Autumn Bounty" image

"Autumn Bounty"

"Autumn Bounty" captures the ripened persimmons, still on the tree.  The leaves turn colors, echoing all the oranges, browns, and reds in the fruit.  Colored pencil on archival art paper.